Power is a delicate thing to balance. Some know how to wield it; some are exceptional at abusing it; still others haven’t a clue. There’s another reason for the slow pace of Mayor Bill Finch’s appointments to boards and commissions that has tripped up governmental action. I received some inquiries the past few days about Finch asking sitting commission members whose terms have expired to sign resignation letters before they are reappointed.
The concern centers on letters being used against commissioners not going along with what the administration wants. Finch’s power grab is bewildering. If Finch had his way he’d use the resignation letters as a hammer against commissioners opposing his position on key issues.
The Finch effort won’t fly legally. There’s a clear distinction between asking a resignation letter of a city employee that serves at the pleasure of the mayor with no specific term (as Finch has done) and another for someone serving on an institutional board, i.e. zoning, police and fire, with a term of appointment.
I must confess, Finch is not the guy I knew. He looks good on television. He sounds good on the radio. On issues closest to his heart (global warming) he’s a noble warrior. But then you get him inside the quiet of a room talking about local policy issues and he acts like the monster with the hands dragging on the floor in the Bugs Bunny cartoon. I’m the mayor and you must follow! Yeah, right off a cliff.
What’s next, city council members? Hey, if you don’t vote with me on the budget I’ll yank your resignation letter from my desk!
Speaking of the city council, there’s a definite appetite to restore the cuts Finch has proposed in his budget to save potential job losses to library staff and school-based health clinics. Unquestionably, some will be restored. The question is, how much? The council has two more weeks to fine-tune Finch’s proposal before it goes back to Finch with legislative suggestions. As already noted here, a variety of options are being looked at. The biggest unknown is the final amount of state money that will come to the city in anticipation of the budget year that begins July 1.
The state is trying to figure out its budget dilemma at the same time as the city. Cross your fingers.
Okay, guys and dolls, we’re having a blog festival at Captain’s Cove Seaport, Thursday, May 15, 6 p.m. at the circular bar next to the replica of the Titanic. Here’s the deal: the first cocktail/mocktail, whatever you want to call it, is on me. Immediately after that happy hour kicks in. We will have finger foods and a strumming guitarist, access to the deck overlooking Black Rock Harbor. We will have a pit for a mud wrestling match between State Rep. Bob Keeley and his challenger Auden Grogins. Or maybe we’ll let them duke it out like one of those John Wayne westerns. Bob “The Troll” Walsh will serve as special guest referee. Bruce Hubler will hit golf balls into the harbor. Everyone’s invited, readers, posters, non-posters, including that old fart Yahooy. (I don’t really know that Yahooy’s an old fart, but maybe one day we’ll find out.) Also, you’re not required to give up your handle. Just come, have a drink and pick on anyone you want, including me!
Let me know if you’ll be attending at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or just post your attendance if you want. Only In Bridgeport … voted best blog by readers of the Fairfield County Weekly! And no, I didn’t rig the vote.